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Staycation - RDU Style

If you know me, you know that I only use my PTO for adventures outside of the state I live in. This past week, however, the stress became too much to handle and decided last minute to take Friday off for mental health. And with my day off, I visited some places I've been wanting to go for quite some time.

1) My day started with a pick me up movie known as "Mamma Mia." The good laughs started out the day on a happy note.
2) After the movie, I headed outdoors to take a walk. My apartment complex is large enough to get a good 30 - 45 minute walk in and I was even able to check my mail on the way back.
3) Some of my DVDs were due back at the library so that was my first stop. I love having a library that rents out movies. It costs me nothing and if I am proactive, they will already have the movies in the hold section for me to pick up.
4) From there, I head to True Flavors Diner & Catering. I sat at the countertop bar that overlooked the kitchen. And since you know how m…
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Money Matters - July

July was a long money month. There were five weekends and five Mondays. Thankfully, I ended up staying within my means and even had some extra money to put into my travel fund.

Best Purchases
1) New bathing suit at Target. I've never worn a bikini before and was in an "I don't care what people think" mood so I bought a bikini! I wear it every time I go to the pool or beach now!
2) Trashcan at Costco. Yes that was one of my best purchases. I'm picky in that I wanted stainless steel with a closeable lid. Do you know those things cost at least $50 if not more...even at Wal-Mart? Well, Costco had an eco-friendly, motion sensor stainless steel for $30. It went home with me that day!

Regrettable Purchases
1) Blackfinn Pub - I spent $9.00 on a glass of wine when I could have bought a whole bottle of the same wine for the same price at Total Wine.

I was quite the active little introvert during July, however, a lot of the activities included meals which made meal planning qu…

On Affirmation

Have you all ever read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman? If you haven't, you should and if you are single, you should read The Five Love Languages for Singles. Anyway, my primary love languages are quality time and words of affirmation.

About a month ago, two very important people in my life told me "You are good people, Jess." And immediately my love bucket was filled up. Because I, like a lot of us, often times think that I am a failure at life, friendships, job, etc. And if you are anything like me, I typically only hear feedback from the parts of life I am not doing well in and very seldom hear about the things I am doing well. Even friends are quick to point out the flaws but not acknowledge the good things. So when someone dares utter "I miss you. I'm excited to see (or hang out) with you. I enjoyed spending time with you. You've had a good heart change. I'm proud of you. I appreciate you. You are a good friend. I'm glad we're friend…

Cooking and Recipes

A few weeks ago, I was talking with my childhood friend and she asked me what I love about myself. At the time, I couldn't answer her. That's a tough question to answer.
As the weekend came up, I did my normal grocery shopping trip and made some food for the week. You know what I noticed? I absolutely love grocery shopping, cooking and having good food in my refrigerator to eat. That is one of those things I love about myself and I love taking care of other people through feeding them. Want to know what I made? Well of course you do!

1) Paleo Sausage Gravy
I actually made this recipe two weeks in row. The first week, I poured it over white potatoes. This week, I poured it over scrambled eggs. Either way is absolutely delicious! I also suggested doubling the recipe if you want to last for more than two meals.

2) Spicy Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry
YUM! And so healthy. I would double it next time so I can freeze half of it!

3) Paleo Shepherd's Pie
Very good. I would have never thou…

On Quitting Facebook

A few weeks ago, I wrote about not having internet. When I told a friend about this, she suggested we log out of Facebook for the month of June and spend more time being intentional in our lives. Needing to change some habits, I was in as my mental state needed a break from constant connection. Admittedly, I didn't know if I could do it. However, as the days passed, the easier it became to stay off and my mental state became better too. Here's why:

1) Comparison

When scrolling through the highlight reels of my newsfeed, I always compared my life to the highlight reels of everyone else's lives. They have better, more fun jobs. They have so many more friends. They always did such fun things. They took better, more frequent vacations. They were never lonely and bored. They have more money to do fun things. You know what though?! We absolutely cannot compare our lives to others, especially with what we see on Facebook or Instagram. Everyone struggles with something. No one has…

Money Matters - June

Welcome to the new 1st Monday of the month blog series where I discuss money from the previous month. I'll talk about good purchases, regrettable purchases, how much I was able to pay down in debt (if any) and other money talk. Join me on the ride!

June was a slightly expensive month and I knew it would be so I put money away. I moved in June and spent $100 on that. I also did not own several important things needed for living so I had to purchase those (about $100). My close friend came into town and helped me decorate (she is so good at it. Definitely could be an interior designer). I absolutely love the way she took my decor and needed to buy some things (about $250).

I was also asked to go to Chicago the first weekend in October and the thought of spending money stressed me out. I knew I was going to choose to go, just wasn't yet ready to pay for it. That's when I remembered my Delta SkyMiles! I absolutely love Delta. My favorite airline and I got a huge mileage boost …

On the Planning for the Unexpected

Last week was your average week. Work was normal. I got to go on some errands for my sales people which is always nice to leave the office for a bit. Nothing super exciting was happening but I was happy nonetheless.

Until about 3am Friday morning when I was woken up with stabbing pains coursing through my stomach. And it lasted for hours. Instead of going to work when my alarm went off, I went to urgent care. And urgent care sent me to the ER. Where I was for the remainder of the day being rehydrated.

Gracious, I don't even want to see the medical bills from this. But I'm also slightly curious about how much one bag of IV fluids cost! I can guarantee you my deductible was met and then co-insurance kicks in at whopping 40%. 40%! Enough to make someone bankrupt in one ER visit. How I wish our medical system didn't cost so much.

My inner personal financeur kicks in right about now giving myself a good pat on the back. Because if it wasn't for my HSA account and emergency …